EP 313 – Itai Boublil – CCO of KNOTS – How Do We Make Finance Teams Happy?

by | Feb 7, 2024

In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, we explore the entrepreneurial journey of ⁠Itai Boublil⁠, a co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of ⁠KNOTS⁠. KNOTS is reimagining the workplace for finance professionals; it is the first GenAI employee for finance teams.

Some of the topics that Itai covered:

  • A funny story about his first trip to the US from Israel to visit his cousin
  • The critical role that technology can play is solving complex problems for finance teams
  • How GenAI will not replace you, but it will surely change the way we work
  • Building a culture of innovation and continuous improvement
  • The expectation that KNOTS will evolve into a comprehensive ecosystem that connects different departments within a company, powered by AI

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

  1. It’s Not About What Are We Trying To Build, It’s About What Are We Trying to Change
  2. We Wanted to Provide a New Experience for Finance Teams
  3. How Do You Take 16 Hours of Work and Turn It Into 10 Seconds?
  4. The Idea Is to Humanize the Whole Process
  5. I Enjoy Solving Complicated Problems
Read the best-effort transcript

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:05
Hi, this is Michael Waitze and welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast Itai Boublil, I love it, a co-founder and the CCO of KNOTS is with us today. It’s great to have you on the show. How are you doing?

Itai Boublil 0:19
It’s great to be here and I’m super excited. I’m doing great. It’s a beautiful day in Singapore. 25 degrees, I think, which is pretty much winter. nice breeze. So I’m I’m soaking in so our Americans, listeners that’s like 75, 76, which is very rare. It’s pretty much I think three degrees below that. And that’s pretty much the end of the world.

Michael Waitze 0:43
It’s so funny. It’s so funny that I woke up this morning, it was 22 degrees here. I’m in Bangkok, right? So it’s the same for me. Normally here, it’s 33 degrees every single day all year round. And I literally went outside to get my cup of coffee and it was cold.

Itai Boublil 0:55
Yeah, I know.

Michael Waitze 0:58
Like, it’s just what you’re acclimated to. Right.

Itai Boublil 1:00
Exactly. So it was 23 this morning when I do my cross-fit session outside my house is 23 degrees. I’m like, Okay, I think I need a longer one.This is a bit chilly.

Michael Waitze 1:14
Tell me. You didn’t get like a little bit of a chill when you went outside?

Itai Boublil 1:17
I do. I do. I’m telling you. Yes. So I was like, okay, okay, this is a really good way to warm up. And then what I said is to my friends, you know, abroad, especially those who live in Boston, which is you know, pretty much I call home. My second home, I guess. They said Just shut up.

Michael Waitze 1:32
Yeah, cuz in Boston today, what is it three degrees.

Itai Boublil 1:37
Like Mine was like, just like crazy weather. So I was like, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get the Homer gift, you know, and just like walk into the bushes and just disappear. And that’s pretty much it.

Michael Waitze 1:48
Exactly. Hey, look, let’s do this. Let’s get a little bit of your background. For some context, I find it shocking that you consider Boston, your second home or maybe your first time. But we’ll get back to that in a second too, because I’ve got some news for you. Go ahead.

Itai Boublil 1:59
Yeah, so I have a very unique journey, I think in life. So I was I was born in Israel. When I was 15 years old, I discovered I had a cousin in LA. Okay, so 15. I’m talking about 1991, maybe so long time ago. So back then there was no internet. So right, we write letters. Hi, hi, I’m your cousin. And then blah, blah, blah. So really exchanged letters with you know, with a with a, you know, with a like a post, like an actual letter. And there comes a time after a year or so we get to meet and you say, hey, let’s come for the summer to LA to visit me. And these are these I’m going I’m going somewhere with it. So I fly alone at 15 and a half 16 to LA from Israel, which is 17 hours flight when you have to land in New York and you have to change planes. And I’m again, just like quite new, no cell phones, no anything I can I get through a and I, us is for me, America, this is it. Sure. And I’m so naive. I’m so naive that at the boarding, at boarding control. You know, the guy asked me, What is the purpose of your visit? I’m like, I don’t know, maybe I would stay and they want to leave a great question. But he looked at me, I think he realized that Okay, okay. Okay. It’s like, this is a kid. Yeah. Visiting my cousin. And it was like, this is the date and I’m offering chocolates, because my mom gave me like a box of chocolates on the plane. I was like, Do you want to check on his like, now? I mean,

Michael Waitze 3:39
I mean, I’m just thinking about this. You don’t say it is

Itai Boublil 3:43
anyway. I’m saying to myself, Okay, I love the US. I go back to the to Israel, and do my military service. And after the military service, I’m like, Okay, I need to get to the States. I feel like the states is where I want to be. And I’m signing up for university. And I have, I have ADHD. So for me doing the SATs is very, very difficult. It was almost impossible. So I keep I call it iminium not failing, but I can’t get the right school to get into the university. Because I’m just my mind is just not thinking in that way. So I sign up to a night school, for University in Boston. And then through that, I find a loophole. And I get into the day school and I go through school, and then I discovered that entrepreneurship is something that I love. Because I took a class in entrepreneurship, northeast and and I came up with an actual startup idea. So this is 2004. And I’m inventing a way to pay for credit cards. With your fingertip pretty much basically biotechnology, biometric technology. And this is like before Apple, you know all these things. It didn’t go anywhere. And I go into a journey of just doing like like marketing and growth and revenue offs and have some C level jobs the past 10 years. And but this idea of founding a company is pretty much was basically stealing my heart. And two startups later that I found it now, um, I founded knots with my co founder. And we’re doing some really interesting things. But the journey is, as plenty of stories and I’m happy to basically talk about it as well. But Boston was the first plane, first place I landed, and I really fell in love with it. It’s just like, it’s just the culture of the of the town and the people is the team, the sports teams. And all that was just just quite an experience. For me. Boston is

Michael Waitze 5:46
actually a really unique place My family’s from Boston, which is why I smiled when you said it. My mom and dad grew up in a small, I wouldn’t even call it a suburb, but like an extension of Boston called Mattapan, which at the time, you probably don’t know is a deeply Jewish ghetto. And okay, yes. So, really so in a really interesting way. But the point is that, like I grew up in Boston, and northeastern actually, luckily, for you are fortunate if you actually run some really great programs, both on the entrepreneurship side, but also on the internship side, right. So you get the Co Op, excuse me, so you get to have a really great experience as a college student that you don’t get to necessarily have.

Itai Boublil 6:19
Yeah, it’s pretty much it’s an extended, so you have like, months of Co Op, and it’s quite unique. It’s really good. I had a dinner with a President of University. And the, and the VP told me, just in Singapore here, they were visiting the doing a big event for the, for the university, the leadership, the Global Leadership Summit, in March, and then I got a an email and said, you know, the president, the president of the university is going to be in town, and would you like, he would like to invite you to dinner. And I said, Okay, I don’t know the person, but I’ll go. So we go in his big round table, they it was quite a fancy dinner. And I tell the story, how, you know, there was one professor really, absolutely changed my life, pretty much. And they said, who this person said, Professor Meyer, and, and yeah, this is where this whole entrepreneurship. The guy came from MIT, and he had these firing him, you know, that it wasn’t just a regular Professor now, just by Googling the syllabus? No, it was just something you go in, and you just want to change the world? No, it’s like, and that thing just was so addictive. You know, I just said, I can’t I want to taste that. And I took some time, but I did taste that. So what

Michael Waitze 7:41
got you to Singapore? Because it’s not Israel. And it’s not Boston. And it’s further away from both of those places that you could possibly be? Yeah,

Itai Boublil 7:48
that is a great question. A job pretty much like anything else, you know, there was a, there was a job offer. And it was pretty much just saying, You know what, let’s just explore life. And we moved to Singapore. And nine and a half years later, we’re still hips. It was pretty much it was very comfortable. And we got at a time in 2014, that, you know, everything like Singapore was taking a shape of these, you know, startup how all these tech and startups and the government is really investing in it. So it was a very unique way to almost live back in 2001. In the US, were like Salesforce, and others were basically coming coming alive, right? I mean, for me, it was a great experience, because like, every day, there was this new startup that is coming out. And it’s like block 71, which is on Valley, you know, all these things like, it was such a it’s such an exciting period. And before you know it, it’s just like time passes. And it was a acceleration, I guess for my career, I would say

Michael Waitze 9:01
for sure. I mean, I’ve been in Asia for 33 years, I was not supposed to be here for this long, and I don’t get going. I used to say home, but it’s not home. Anyway, I’m definitely not going back to the US. I want to ask you this thing. Entrepreneurship is this really special thing, right? filled with tons of learnings and a lot of I don’t want to say failure, but let’s just call them not successes, right? Before we get to knots itself, can you just kind of run me through? What did you learn by going through this process of trying to build a couple of other companies first, and then what have you taken into the founding of knots that you think is going to make you more successful this time than the other times?

Itai Boublil 9:36
The best way to put it is to actually learning about yourself a lot. I joined as a co founder with one company and that didn’t work out quite well and interesting, inspiring. It’s part of the process, right? I founded my own startup which was more of like, more of a consulting company for as a fractional CCO, cmo for other startups. I realized that it’s not something that I enjoy doing, I enjoy actually building a SaaS startup that’s like, that’s my bread and butter. That’s what I really enjoy. And I enjoy solving like complicated problems. You know, for me, it’s just like telling someone build a funnel like that, or this is just not as exciting. You don’t, but it’s just not it doesn’t doesn’t like make me like smile. Right? Got it. And then, you know, I met my co founder, and then we started to bring all this, you know, experience we had in the past into, into that one place and say, let’s solve the big problem. And we have some quite unique stories about that, like, how do we even found it? Now? It’s like, why, you know, it’s like, I tell you, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you a personal story. You know, I will say that 10 years ago, I probably knew nothing about like, finance, right? Like absolutely nothing. I was like a black hole. In my knowledge. I knew there was something called finance in a company. But what they do, like, why is it important, it’s like, okay, it was pretty much a black hole. And then these things, the whole thing changed. Right, I got up, I got a first C level job. And I’m pretty much working with finance teams, like in sci fi, I was like, on a daily basis. And, and I’m realizing like, something that really struck me as weird. I mean, at first, but then I realized that this is a reality for them that the huge amount of work that these people are actually doing, like every single day, like crunching numbers, uploading invoices downloading in the process processing that processing this, like, I don’t you guys have tools like to do it. And inside, we do have tools. And it’s like, okay, it’s weird, because you guys, like, come at six o’clock in the morning, you leave at 8pm every day. And it’s like, you have no life. So I’m like, it gets stuck in my head. And then like, I would say, like, two, three years later, I’m working with this. I’m working in this company in Vienna, the global company like 100 offices, worldwide, 1000 employees, right? This beautiful autumn day in Vienna, I’m sitting for lunch with, with the CFO, they come company, and we like you know, we’re talking and all that and then say, You know what? I gotta ask you a question, man. I know, I’ve been in for like, maybe four months, and I’m quite new, but I really need to ask anything goes. I said, Why are you so grumpy? It’s like, you, you’re like, you don’t say Guten Morgen, you’re grumpy. You’re like you’re not smiling. And he goes, You know, he’s like, putting his foot down. He’s looking at me when he’s like thick glasses and like curly hair, and just this heavy Austrian accent. He goes like, you know why? Why? Because I’m like, I’m dealing with 100 accounts every single day. Um, the first one to come first one to leave. And the last one to leave? Yeah, I’m using like, so many tools, and I’m doing manual work. And I hate my job. And I’m like, shit, man. I mean, sorry. I mean, it’s like, hating your job is a very strong statement. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And that really stuck with me. And when we build knots, right, this is this is part of the vision that we had is that how do we make finest things like happy, you know, like, and we had, like, for instance, was the brain behind the whole Chennai part. And we had a combined vision. And this is how we got into pretty much entrepreneurship, like longer journey of entrepreneurship, which is basically we’ve been doing this for a year and eight months, I would say, something like that. So

Michael Waitze 13:29
what was the tipping point for you? I love this idea, by the way of how can we make finance teams happy? Like as you hire new employees, you don’t really have to explain much, much, if that’s all you say? Because I’m like, What are you just trying to accomplish? We’re just trying to make five teams happy. Like, it’s so easy to understand. Once you say that? Yeah.

Itai Boublil 13:44
Yeah, great.

Michael Waitze 13:46
I was just gonna say there must be some kind of technical or technological tipping point, though, right? Because if you want to do this, even like three or four years ago, the ability to kind of take all of those tools that you said, even that the CFO at this large company in Vienna was using, connect them together, connect all that data for the downloading and uploading. And remember, I worked my first job at Morgan Stanley was in the controller’s department. So I did it. And I spent a ton of time trying to automate the stuff that I did. But this is back in the early 90s. So I didn’t even have the ability to use artificial intelligence at scale, to be able to automate, I literally use Visual Basic to do it. So I’m curious for you guys, when you thought about how do we do this? When did the light go off? Where somebody said, maybe it was your business partner who said, you know, what, we can use artificial intelligence to do that. Walk me through that.

Itai Boublil 14:35
Yeah. And that is so interesting, because, you know, I think I mentioned this many times, like when you my conversations that you know, as as a society, we experienced, you know, three, three paradigm shifts, right. One of them is the internet that didn’t want his mobile. And the third one is what’s happening right now with this gen AI. Yeah. How if AI has been around for quite some time if you look at, you know, the, I would say the evolution of AI, right, so you have late 2000 2010. So you have what we call like robotic process, automation rpa, companies like Anaplan, and stuff like that. And many companies took advantage of that. And then you have early 2010, mi 2010. And you have data analytics, business, intelligence, all these things. And then you have mi 2010. And then and then 2020. Then you have data entry automation. This is also known as like OCR, like optical character recognition. And this is all nice and well. And it builds like really amazing FinTech tools and other marketing and sales tools, but for this specific conversation, like FinTech tools, but the thing is that it wasn’t enough, because it was a it was a tool. So for us, you know, when we thought about it, you know, we asked ourselves, what do we have, in order for us to not make it a tool? Right, and this is when we started thinking about, so we kind of like reverse engineer the whole thing. So it’s not about what do we want to build? But it’s, what are we trying to change? Yeah. So

Michael Waitze 16:14
it’s, it’s a cool concept of sorry, go ahead. Yeah. Yeah.

Itai Boublil 16:17
And people often go into the product part what I want to be what do we need to be on the side? Take a step back a little bit? What are you trying to change specifically? So this is for us, as founders, we knew that. Okay, we have the knowledge, we have a vision. And we have a knowledge of general AI really good knowledge with Francis, and what can we do with it? Like, what can we what? So we have this thing? What are the possibilities with it? So it took us some time to really step out of this whole whole madness of building a product, right? And we started thinking about, okay, so we never wanted to build yet another SAS product. But we actually wanted to provide provide a new experience for finance teams, and then ask yourself, Okay, what is the new experience with finance teams? Right? This thing crazy, because Gen AI is like, really fast. And it has an LLM, you know, large, you know, learning models, basically, it’s a brain said, can we make the experience, feel as if the person is interacting with a colleague, right, like a human being. So you killing the whole concept of like a product and features, but more of like, the interaction is like, as if I’m just, you know, slacking someone and saying, Hey, give me the report for q1? And let me know, what are the roads, the revenue projection for this and this and MLM have over, you know, over a period of q1, q2, and q3, and tell me how it was how efficient the sales team is. So that is something you would ask, like a finance manager or whatever, right? Now, if I can take this, all use will take about maybe if you’re really good, and you have everything in place, maybe it will take you eight hours, or maybe two days, right, two working days. But I wanted what if I can take this and turn it into 10 seconds? Now, that is a crazy concept, right? It’s like, how do you take like 16 hours of work and turn it into 10 seconds, said, Okay, this is part of the technology, we have this as part of the vision we have. And this is how you put it together. And you create what we basically want you to build. And it’s exactly what we ended up doing. Right? So but the whole idea was always Foundation was always about? How do you make them happy? How do you basically reduce the time to seconds? How do you make it crazy? That’s pretty much it. And don’t build features, build skills, build an employee. So

Michael Waitze 18:45
again, I want to go back to my personal experience and share something with you. So then you can dig a little bit deeper into this so you can get an understanding of how I understand this. Yeah. When I joined the controller’s department in Morgan Stanley in Tokyo in 1991, in 1992, I can’t remember the exact date, I was responsible for doing the Profit and Loss report for the trading desk that traded options. It was complicated, okay, yeah, right, beta, theta, gamma, all this stuff that had to be calculated and then applied to the p&l and then understand where all the positions had to be. And the guy that had built the reporting infrastructure before me, it took him like a day and it took him like a full day to do this. A full day. So the traders didn’t get their p&l until t plus one plus after the close, right. So the next trading day had four or five o’clock in the afternoon, and I was like, This is ridiculous. Okay, because he was the same thing. He was getting it at six o’clock in the morning and not delivering a report after many arguments with the trading desk at four or five o’clock, and then he would have to redo it again and give it back to them at seven when they wanted to go home. They were mad. Yeah. So I came in and I said, Okay, I’m gonna redo this whole thing. And essentially after doing it, and everyone said I was crazy for thinking about it. I would get it to the trading desk before the traders got into the office in the morning at 7am. But the reason why I’m telling you this is not to talk about me, but to talk about the magic that automation allows you to do. And the way it can change the paradigm for the way people think about it. But imagine if I could have just walked in and said this, give me today’s p&l for these seven accounts, put it in a format that the traders will like, make the highest p&l Green, the lowest p&l Red, and then print it out for me using Excel. Right? Because what I did was I just recorded all the steps that I did in Visual Basic, which if I did manually took hours, but if I just pressed a button, I could literally go get a cup of coffee come back, and it would be done.

Itai Boublil 20:33
No, this is the beauty of it. And and I would say take it so. So there’s this step. And and we are trying personally, we’re trying to walk away from automation, we want to build something that thinks something that will say, wait a minute, they also want me to send an email to that person, because I’m seeing that, you know, they haven’t you know, they’re laid on their payment. And I think we should send him an email. And then you will say, yeah, go ahead, do that. That is the level of knots like this is where we take it. So the idea is to unionize the whole thing. State states. You see, this is how I look at it. SAS and products and fintech tools have been around probably from like 2000, let’s say 2000. Right now have evolved. But they stayed a product in the sense that you can only do certain things. But that’s pretty much it, then you have you have another tool that is integrated with API, and then that can do the next thing. And then the next thing and then the next thing, right, yeah, they save time, but they don’t save the headache, they don’t save the manual work. And they don’t interact with you, which means that it’s not an open world. So for me, the beauty with Gen AI, is that you can take it and actually build a thinking. I don’t want to say product, because I don’t use

Michael Waitze 21:49
the word I get it.

Itai Boublil 21:51
Like thinking entity, right? That is part of your team that can basically do things very, very fast, and probably save you a lot of money when forget about the money on time, but save you money on errors. Because Errors do happen when human beings like it’s just the nature of it. Do you

Michael Waitze 22:08
also think that it frees up the people in the finance department to do more value added work. In other words, if they can take 10 seconds, let’s make it 60 seconds, right? Because it sounds more realistic, even if it is 10 seconds to do the sort of reporting that they were doing anyway and take away the misery that particularly the guy in Vienna was having? Yeah, for them to then change the sort of tenor of the type of person that gets hired to do that, because they can just come in and go, Look, give me all the reporting in the first quarter for the stuff that we sold it or refrigerators only to the team in Singapore, blah, whatever it is, the report comes out, then that gal can now do real data analysis, really understand what it means and then make decisions based on that or make recommendations based on that, rather than just doing the report being exhausted and going home. Exactly.

Itai Boublil 22:48
So exactly. And this is this is the whole beauty of it. So I’ll talk about one fear that is linked to what you’re saying is that AI is going to replace my job. And it’s like, okay, that’s just that’s just not true, not, but what it’s going to do is that what happens right now is that if you look at a finance team, it is pretty much the main artery of the business is that um, so a marketing sales hrs, you’re not the main artery, but you know, finance team is the main artery, they’re the one that will basically keep the company afloat with whatever they do. The problem they have is that they spend a lot of time on maintaining things, maintaining things, there’s just no room for creativity on how can we extend the runway by 30%? How can we make cash flow even bigger? I mean, Dell ways that there are smart people, there are ways of doing it, but there’s just no time to do it. Because you’re always basically scanning invoices. So you’re processing these, or you’re sending a reminder, you’re trying to calculate your cash flow, depending on your role, right? And, and it’s just, it’s just like it’s not happening. So it’s linked to what you’re saying is that once you have this capability, now you have more time to actually do things that are more beneficial for the business. That’s what I see the, I would say, the interesting part of penetration of Gen AI into the workforce, and we probably wouldn’t see it in its full manifestation probably in 2028. That’s where it’s like very maturing, I would say every company, I would say 85% of companies, some of the reports I read, will basically have some sort of agenda AI system, running their business. That’s basically evolution. And that’s where we’re going with it.

Michael Waitze 24:32
The compute power that we have, we couldn’t have imagined even five years ago, the throughput that we have, whether it’s mobile or or hard lines, again, we couldn’t have conceived of five or 10 years ago. And that allows us over time to take the AI that you write has been around since the 1950s and 1960s and put it on a computing platform that can do things that couldn’t have been conceived. Like we said 510 15 or 20 years ago, just because of the pure power that we have now. I’m always curious when I Meet the people that are rolling out transformational software is what is the reaction when you go to pitch the people that are meant to use it. So you go to finance departments, you go to the CFO or the head of finance and say, let me give you an example. Because if you just say to him, I’m gonna give you an AI generated employee to do this, he may call the doctors on you, do you know what they mean? He may think, yeah.

Itai Boublil 25:21
So it’s funny, I think it’s, it is the answer splits into into two roles. So if I’m talking to a finance manager, or an accountant, what they sell what they tell me, what is that going to replace my job, right? And that’s the fear. And I said, No, it’s going to empower you in your role, you’re going to do better, and you’re going to learn new skills, but you know, it’s, you’re gonna do better at your role. Obviously, some things will become just redundant, you just don’t need them, because you have the Gen AI, but you’re going to, you know, just like, explore different, you know, guest directions for yourself. We didn’t we didn’t your role. When you talk to CFO, CFO was the when we say agenda AI employee, it’s a little bit, we have to go deeper. Because when you say that, so what kind of features it has said, it’s not a product per se, it’s a it’s a free form. It’s like, it’s like, it’s think about it as hiring another team member for much, much less. And it’s like, Yeah, but what can I do with it? So pretty much anything. It’s like, okay, but how does it work? Because it’s, it’s connected to a data weighed, so it has access to my data, so it can basically change everything. I said, No, it’s not the Terminator. It’s not we’re not there yet. We’re not Skynet, it. This is the reaction we get, because it’s the last thing and a misunderstanding, right of the whole AI part. And everybody always, we always get like, Oh, this is like Skynet. I said, it’s not scanning. There’s a movie. It’s not it’s not it’s not a terminator. But this is this is where people take it. It takes a lot of usually when we when you show them, it’s not just SAS, I think any Gen AI company right now. You have to show what it does, how it works. And normally when you say go ahead, just like type anything that you would normally ask your finance manager. And he’s like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna tackle you. So he’s the guy something like, like, very like a paragraph long, I got a question. And then it’s like 12 seconds, as it spits out the report charts, blah, blah, blah. It’s like, oh, I said, That’s what agenda employees is that I like it. Basically, that’s the best way is just to show it because right now, there’s so much misinformation. And I wouldn’t say misinformation. I think people are not educated enough yet. Right? about the topic.

Michael Waitze 27:38
So my feeling on this piece of technology is the same as it would have been when cars were beginning to be introduced. Right. So people are let’s just talk about the United States, people are riding horses and carriages, they’re using them as taxis, particularly in a city like New York and cars get introduced. And because people aren’t used to them, they’re driving down the road way faster than a horse and buggy can people don’t expect them they get killed because they’re the roads are not set up for them. And yet, over time, the smart horses horse and buggy drivers figured out how to drive a car. And those became taxis. The guys that were just opposed to it, they didn’t know what to do with their lives. And I think that Gen AI is the same way in all types of artificial intelligence the same way. The people that learn how to use it are just going to be super powered. And the people that complain about it or are afraid of it are just gonna get left behind. And I think that’s true for every type of tech. Is that fair? Absolutely.

Itai Boublil 28:28
That’s fair. And especially now because it is a paradigm shift we are looking at if you look at the product adoption curve, you’re looking at innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, you know, loggers. We are at the at the tip of the innovators. So I think every generic company right now is trying to grab these people, and in in pretty much invest in them. And for me, as someone who is doing taking care of the commercial part, I want to go a step further, I want to basically build a legacy from these people basically evangelist of the product, so overjet AI, so I’m not just looking at CFO, I’m looking at accountants and finance managers that are more in junior role that are more I guess happy to adopt something like that, but they will grow into CFOs so I’m looking at what is not with these people three years from now or four years from now the head of finance VP of Finance and basically grew with us right so also looking at this because like I said, if you look at finance, the older generation that are basically see for whatever finance right now, it’s it’s going to be much harder to close unless they have really an open mind and some of them do but some of them and this is from hundreds of interviews we’ve done I can tell you that it’s it’s just sometimes a bit frustrating but I’m still remembering that hey, you know what I it Something new. It’s an alien right now. Nobody’s just like a spaceship. It’s like nobody can, can really like conceptualize exactly like what’s like, what the hell exists. So finding this innovators, I would say, for anyone who’s doing general AI right now find this small group of innovators and grow with them, just like the rest of them join later, just like it’s just what it is.

Michael Waitze 30:22
What is the status of the company right now? In other words, have you rolled out this? I don’t want to say product, right. But if you rolled out this experience to a bunch of different entities, gotten some feedback from them and continue to build out what the capabilities are like, what is the status? Right? Yeah.

Itai Boublil 30:36
So we launched a few weeks ago, I think two weeks ago, we had about Yeah, so we had about 11, signups we went very soft with go to market, because we don’t want to, yet we’re still fine tuning knots. And we’re trying to build it, build it in a different way that you can actually build a team of employees. So we kind of taking it very slow. We have a lot of partnerships that sign up that say, Hey, we want to show it, we want to put it on our marketplace, and have our communities and the app, some white label deals that are forming up companies that say, you know, what, if you guys have it right now, why spend you know, two years building it as a company, right? Probably a million dollar just to develop it, if I can just get your score, you know, like less so which is fine. So this is the kind of like the direction we are taking with it. But the goal will always be pretty much our do we get into finance teams and and kill that overworked employees kill that frustration, you know, make people a little bit more happy? Just enjoy work? Because I think he’s just, he’s, I mean, like I said, this conversation, this lunch, I had really stuck with me, because that part where he says, I hate my job, right? It’s just, it was painful. You know, it was like, wow, it’s like, it’s very, it was very powerful. And say, why would someone why would someone hate their job? And? And I’d say, it’s like, it’s one of the things just that when when we’re building this, this employees like, hey, just just keep them smiling and just keep them smiling. That’s the goal. That’s structions for the UX UI designers, like keep them smiling. That’s what we want to do.

Michael Waitze 32:28
Exactly. Okay, one more thing before I let you go, if you look out, let’s just say three years, right? Because this tech is moving really fast. It’s not a five to 10 year thing. It’s a much closer event, I think. Yeah. How does how does not look different than it does today? Didn’t mean like, is it just expanded capabilities? Or is it expanded domain?

Itai Boublil 32:48
I would say taking it across the company thing, the marketing team connecting the sales team, basically building an army of employees, that leaves on the one Ecosystm. Right. So I see, I see not growing into that. But everything is an educated hypothesis. And I think that in this journey, we changed so many times, based on hey, you know what, it’s nice that you have an idea, but I want something different as a customer.

Michael Waitze 33:18
I love it. I’m going to end there. Itai Boublil, a co-founder and the CCO of KNOTS . Thank you so much for doing this day. You must come back. Maybe we’ll get your co founder back to have a technical discussion as well. Get you both back. We got to have you back as this continues to develop. Is that cool?

Itai Boublil 33:32
Exactly, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Michael Waitze 33:33
Thank you



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